Some cities, school systems to still require masks after state mandate expires

Some cities, school systems to still require masks after state mandate expires
Generic photo of face masks (Source: Storyblocks)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - While Alabama’s mask mandate expires Friday, some cities and school systems say they will continue to require mask-wearing.

On Tuesday, the Montgomery City Council adopted an ordinance that extends the mask requirement in the city for another 30 days. Children 6 years old or younger will not have to wear a mask or any person with a document from their physician saying they have a condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering.

The Montgomery County Commission agreed to require masks inside all county buildings past Friday’s expiration. Masks will also be required when inside municipal buildings for the Town of Pike Road.

Montgomery Public Schools say it will continue to require mask-wearing after the state’s health order expires Friday.

In Butler, Macon and Autauga counties, school officials say mask-wearing will be required through the end of the school year. In Elmore County, however, the school system says mask-wearing will be optional.

Opelika City Schools will require face coverings through the end of the school year.

Birmingham leaders also voted Tuesday to extend its citywide mask ordinance until May 24.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced the state will transition from an amended Safer at Home order to a new Safer Apart Order on Friday. Ivey, who was joined by State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, cited a steep decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as increasing vaccination rates for the decision to move the state to a new phase.

Ivey said while the state will no longer require mask use after April 9, people are still strongly urged to continue their use while in public or in close contact with others.

The state has recorded an 89 percent drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations from the high reached on Jan. 11 and the lowest average since last spring. There are currently 331 COVID-19 inpatients in hospitals across the state.

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